A Beginner’s Guide to Italian Wines

Italy is a country famed for its incredible wines. Think of the rolling green hills of Tuscany and the rich earth surrounding the south’s many volcanoes, and it’s easy to see why Italy’s vineyards produce such an amazingly rich variety of classic reds and whites.

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With perfect pairings for every type of meal, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer choice of Italian wines available. To help you pick the best, we’ve compiled a beginner’s guide to Italian wines.

White Wines for All Occasions

Long overshadowed by their more famous red equivalents, Italian white wines are now growing in popularity and quality, according to Forbes.

If you’re looking for an ‘everyday’ white wine, then you could choose either a Sauve from the Veneto region of Italy or an Orvieto from Umbria. Sauve is made from the Garganega grape and is light, rich and fruity, while the Orvieto is crisp and refreshing, making it an ideal choice served chilled on the hottest summer evenings.

For a special occasion, you can’t go far wrong with Franciacorta. This sparkling wine from Lombardia has all the style and intensity of Champagne, but with a smaller price tag. A high-quality Pinot Grigio can also tick all the boxes. A wine such as the Goretti I.G.P. can be found on the menus of top restaurants such as http://www.forno500.ie/, an authentic Italian restaurant in Dublin.

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Red Wines for All Occasions

For something to open with dinner tonight, a dry Lambrusco from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy is a superb choice. These wines have a pleasantly bitter taste on the palate and just a hint of fizz, making them easy to pair with all sorts of pizza, pasta and meat dishes. You could also consider a Gattinara from the Piedmont area; they’re mature and incredibly warming, the ideal partner for hearty stews and roasts.

For something a little special, choose either an Amarone from the Veneto region or a Barolo. The former is dazzlingly deep and concentrated and sure to wow fellow diners, while the Barolo is often called the ‘King of Reds’. A well-aged bottle of Barolo is one of the greatest pleasures in life, so whether you crack it open for a special occasion or save it for many years to come, this is a wise investment for any connoisseur.